Gary Ray Holyoak, beloved husband, father, uncle, grandpop, great-grandpop, friend, and role model to all those who loved him, passed away at the age of 79 on Friday, January 19, 2018.
Gary fought a valiant battle with a rare form of leukemia, but what he will be remembered for is his strength, hard work, love of the simple joys of life, teaching by example, and his lifetime dedication to his wife and family.
Gary was a true son of the Moab Valley, having been born in Moab on June 1, 1938. He was the first son of Ray Holyoak and Ruth Holyoak (Guymon), descendants of Utah pioneers who made their living ranching and farming the red Moab soil.
Gary grew up ranching and farming with his father and his three siblings who survive him, Glen Holyoak, Ronald Holyoak and Mary Engleman.
Gary graduated from Grand County High School in 1956, where he played on the Red Devil basketball team. He began working at Atlas Minerals, where he would work for the next 28 years.
In August, 1958, he met the love of his life, Patricia (Hyiata) Holyoak. They married on October 1, 1960, and were later sealed for time and all eternity in the Manti Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
They were married for 57 years when Gary passed. Gary and Patricia had the type of lifetime romance that few can ever dream of today. They were together until the very last moment.
Gary and Patricia are the parents of seven children, grandparents of 22 grandchildren, and great-grandparents of nine great-grandchildren. Gary was like a father and grandfather to so many in addition to his own family.
Gary is preceded in death by his son Clynn Robert Holyoak; granddaughter Kensey Rae Wells; and grandson Carson John Ballard.
He is survived by his wife Patricia Holyoak; and his children: Jamie Rue (Robert) Robinson, Kammy Rae (Dennis) Wells, Ryan Gary (Monica) Holyoak, Kelsie Patricia (Brian) Backus, Amber Lee (Murray) Spence, and Dalin Riley Holyoak.
He also raised two nieces and is survived by Diana Kay Hyita (Cecil) Ralston and preceded in death by Cindy Lee Hyita.
Gary continued the career in uranium that he had begun at Atlas Minerals by later working at the Energy Fuels White Mesa Mill (the only remaining conventional uranium mill in the United States) from 1986 until he retired as a mill supervisor in 2000.
Despite working full-time at the Atlas and White Mesa mills, Gary was also a rancher and a farmer his entire life. He found peace, pride and joy in growing alfalfa on the Flat Ranch.
He also taught his children, grandchildren, and countless others the inestimable value of a simple, honest day of hard work.
In addition to his love of family, he loved hunting, farming, gardening, recreational softball, church basketball, and Red Devil football.
As each of his children and grandchildren can attest, he rarely missed a game, and he took great pride and joy in his posterity on the field.
He won trophies in archery and would rarely go a season without bringing home a buck or an elk.
He was devoted to his faith and served in many callings for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including ward clerk for several bishoprics, high priest group leader, teacher, and in the Sunday School presidency.
Gary was a shining example of stewardship, purity of heart, and working until the task is complete. He took so much pride in his family, he loved Moab unconditionally, and he will be deeply missed by all.
Funeral services were held Friday, January 26 in Moab. Interment at Grand Valley Cemetery.